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Zierlein: Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss is NFL's next Tyron Smith

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A Pro Bowler as a rookie.

2016 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage:

The next Tyron Smith.

The best left tackle in the NFL.

These are all goals within reach for NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein's No. 1-rated player in the 2016 NFL Draft.

"I believe Laremy Tunsil is the next Tyron Smith," Zierlein said on The Pick Is In podcast, referring to the Dallas Cowboys' left tackle. "Laremy Tunsil to me is going to be the best left tackle in the league, or one of the top two, within three years. He's got the good arm length, that certainly helps, but what I love about him is that he came in as a five-star prospect and played at that level from the very moment he came into the SEC."

Tunsil's half-season suspension at Ole Miss due to an NCAA eligibility investigation has apparently done nothing to damage his status as the top tackle prospect of the 2016 draft. His pass protection skills are considered his best asset, and in a league where the quarterback position is all-important, that's a crucial requirement for left tackles.

Especially those chosen as early first-round picks.

"He has the highest upside since Tyron Smith. When Smith came out, he had some boom-or-bust qualities and had to move from the right side to the left side. He was an athletic freak, which is why he had so much upside," Zierlein added. "With Tunsil, he's got all that athleticism, but he's a three-year starter in a major conference who has played left tackle the entire time and has some of the cleanest technique you're going to find at the position. He's ahead of Tyron Smith in terms of his knowledge, technique and ability at the position right now, coming into the league. Laremy Tunsil comes in and has a shot at being a Pro Bowler as a rookie."

So, who might have an interest in Tunsil at the top of the draft?

Zierlein sees the Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants among clubs with a top-10 pick having a need at offensive tackle, and identified it as the Titans' primary need. Tennessee picks No. 1 overall.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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